I found that this transition into university was quite an eye opener. The work load got much heavier and time consuming than it was in high-school. I experienced levels of stress I had never experienced before. Late nights sitting at my desk when everyone else was asleep, working on papers and studying for exams. In high school I found a lot of it easy, which made my homework easy and meant that I did’t have to study for tests very much. Even if you think this of yourself in high school, don’t go into university thinking you don’t need to do homework or study. University is a whole new world that everyone should be prepared for. This wasn’t the case for myself. I got hit by a truck labelled, “UNIVERSITY”!
When it comes to writing, I couldn’t feel more confident coming out of this semester knowing I am a better writer. Completing many writing assignments, especially in ENGL 109, has opened my eyes to many different forms of writing. Although these assignments are part of the reasons for my late, coffee drinking nights, working hard on these assignments is what helped me learn the many types of writing and how to master them. I have learned that no writing is easy, but if I go into it with an open mind, anything is possible.
I think one of the most helpful lessons we had in class was the one where we learned about the library website. Learning about Scopus has been a life changer. I have used Scopus for multiple assignments in various class since that class. It has shown me how to find credible sources in an easy and efficient way. It is nice to have a ‘go to’ database that I know is reliable and will most likely have good results to my searches. This was something I learned in this class that I will carry with me throughout university, and will make my life a lot easier.
Pieces of advice I would give to first year students is to prepare themselves and don’t underestimate yourself. It is important to keep a planner and set aside time for every assignment, test, etc. It can seem easy to just skip small assignments or not do a few weekly readings. By doing this, you just pile up the work and when it comes to studying for exams, you are too far behind to catch up.
Advise about writing in particular would have to be about questioning. I found myself doubting or questioning a lot about the fact if I was doing my writing assignments correctly. I wasn’t sure if I was formatting properly or writing about the right things. The best thing to do is to ask your professor. They are there to help you. Writing might be something that can seem easy to figure out yourself, but it can be challenging. The best thing to do is just ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question!
Looking back at these first couple of months in university, I don’t regret anything. Everything has been a learning experience. I have learned that writing and anything else that will pop up, can be challenging, but as long as I believe in myself, I can achieve anything I put my mind to.